Pete Arredondo, the chief of the college district police power in Uvalde, Texas, resigned as a member of the Uvalde Metropolis Council on Friday amid continued outrage over the sluggish police response to a taking pictures at Robb Elementary College in Might.
In a letter addressed to town, Mr. Arredondo mentioned that after a lot consideration, “it’s in one of the best curiosity of the neighborhood to step down as a member of the Metropolis Council for District 3 to attenuate additional distractions.”
He added that the mayor, town council and town workers “should proceed to maneuver ahead to unite our neighborhood, as soon as once more.”
His resignation was first reported by The Uvalde Chief-Information.
Mr. Arredondo was elected to town council shortly earlier than a gunman killed 19 college students and two lecturers at Robb Elementary College on Might 24. On June 22, Uvalde’s college police power introduced that it had positioned Mr. Arredondo on administrative depart after the state’s prime regulation enforcement chief known as the police response “an abject failure.”
Mr. Arredondo was among the many first officers to reach on the college after the taking pictures started. In line with the director of the state police, Steven McCraw, he was additionally the incident commander for the response. Although officers from a number of companies entered the college minutes after a gunman opened hearth in two related school rooms, they waited greater than an hour earlier than confronting and killing him.
Mr. Arredondo has defended his decision-making that day and mentioned in an interview with The Texas Tribune that he didn’t imagine that he was in control of the response. The taking pictures and the police response are the topics of a number of investigations, together with one by the U.S. Justice Division.
The town council has posted movies of three council conferences which were held for the reason that taking pictures. Mr. Arredondo doesn’t seem in any of them.
“I believe it was the fitting factor for him to do,” Don McLaughlin, the mayor of Uvalde, mentioned in a textual content message of Mr. Arredondo’s determination to resign. “We didn’t know something about it till we noticed it posted on the paper’s web site.”
On June 21, metropolis council members met to debate Mr. Arredondo’s request for a depart of absence. One after the other, Uvalde residents stood earlier than the council and known as for Mr. Arredondo to step down.
First to the rostrum was Jazmin Cazares, 17, who misplaced her sister and cousin within the taking pictures.
“After selecting to attend an hour for backup, as an alternative of ordering officers to take down the shooter, he’s confirmed he can not do his job,” Ms. Cazares mentioned. “How am I speculated to give up grieving, particularly realizing he did nothing to guard my sister, my cousin, her mates and her lecturers?” After extra residents spoke, the Uvalde Metropolis Council voted to disclaim Mr. Arredondo’s request for a depart of absence.
One week later, a neighborhood nonetheless reeling from grief welcomed the information of Mr. Arredondo’s resignation.
Martin Herrera, who misplaced a grandson and has been serving to a surviving granddaughter get better from the horror of the day, known as the resignation a step in the fitting path. Mr. Herrera mentioned Mr. Arredondo must also vacate his publish as the college police chief instantly. However Mr. Herrera mentioned he additionally wished to see others who botched the response and the aftermath face penalties.
Leonard Sandoval, whose grandson Xavier Lopez was killed within the taking pictures, mentioned Mr. Arredondo “ought to have resigned loads sooner.”
Hugo Cervantes, one of many residents who rushed to Robb Elementary College after listening to pictures fired, mentioned Mr. Arredondo’s determination gave the impression to be not more than one other growth that delayed justice for the households. He recalled pleading with armed officers to enter the college and being informed that “all the things was OK,” although folks might nonetheless hear gunshots.
“The reality is that they might have saved many kids and didn’t,” Mr. Cervantes mentioned. “That is all too little, too late.”
J. David Goodman contributed reporting.